Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is celebrated throughout Mexico and in many other parts of the world, both as a patriotic holiday in Mexico and as an international symbol of Mexican culture.
While Cinco de Mayo is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico itself, it has become much more significant internationally, often celebrated with parades, mariachi music, and traditional food. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has grown to become an important celebration of Latin American culture and heritage.
Cinco de Mayo has been heavily commercialized, but we can still bring this holiday to our Spanish classes by celebrating Mexican culture.
If you decide that Cinco de Mayo is a good fit for your curriculum, here are some suggestions.
Cinco de Mayo Spanish Class Activities by Speaking Latino
- Cinco de Mayo – Introductory Activity for Novice Students – Quick and simple kick-off worksheet to introduce and discuss the history of Cinco de Mayo based on an online video in English. Link and answer key provided.
- Cinco de Mayo – Spanish Vocabulary List – A printable or digitally sharable handout with the full list of 24 vocabulary words for 5 de mayo with English translations.
- Cinco de Mayo – Spanish Vocabulary Presentation with Audio – This presentation introduces 24 vocabulary words about Cinco de Mayo in Spanish using illustrations and pronunciation audio clips by a native speaker.
- Cinco de Mayo – Spanish Vocabulary Illustrated Handout – This printable handout illustrates 12 of the most important vocabulary words for 5 de mayo. Includes editable Google Slides and PDF.
- Cinco de Mayo – Spanish Vocabulary Printable Posters – Printable poster in 3 sizes that illustrate 12 of the most important vocabulary words used during Cinco de Mayo. The set includes the following sizes: Lega size – 8.5″ x 14″, Tabloid size – 11″ x 17″ and Poster size – 18″ x 24″.
- Cinco de Mayo – Spanish Vocabulary Word Search – A word search in two versions: with a Spanish word list and with an English word list to translate. Includes answer key.
- Cinco de Mayo – Spanish Vocabulary Word Jumble – A word jumble activity where your students (individually or in a small group) write the letters of a word in the correct order. Includes answer key.
- Cinco de Mayo – Spanish Vocabulary Crossword Puzzle – An English to Spanish translation crossword puzzle where your students translate the English word to fill in the crossword with the correct Spanish word. Includes answer key.
- Cinco de Mayo – Reading and Listening Comprehension Activity – A reading comprehension activity that summarizes the history of Cinco de Mayo in Spanish with useful vocabulary to follow the reading easily and reading comprehension questions. Answer key included.
- Cinco de Mayo – Curious Facts Printable Posters (Spanish and English) – This printable poster is available in 3 sizes and includes 5 curious facts about this celebration that you can discuss in class. You can choose between English or Spanish versions.
- Grupo El Tren – La Batalla del Cinco de Mayo (Includes Webquest Activity) – La Batalla del 5 Mayo Spanish Song Clozeline Activity. Integrates an authentic resource to review the vocabulary in context and learn more about the key historical figures of Cinco de Mayo with a WebQuest. Digitally fillable.]
- Mariachis en la época de Covid: La identidad pública y privada – Identidad nacional y étnica (México) – In this reading and visual comprehension activity, students learn about Mariachis in Mexico, their “serenatas” and how they are working to help people and health professionals during the pandemic.
- El Mariachi (México) – Presentation – Introduce your students to Mariachi from México. Use these ready-to-use Google Slides in Spanish and English for them to bring cultural traditions to your classes.
- Paper Bag Piñatas Substitute Lesson Plan – Piñatas are containers typically made with papier-mâché or pottery. They are often linked with Mexico, where the containers are brightly decorated and filled with candy or small presents, before being strung up and broken as a celebration event. This activity gives students an opportunity to make their own piñatas with household materials, adorning the piñatas with traditional tissue paper fringe, and filling them with candy and other small treats.
- Comida tradicional: La identidad pública y privada – Identidad nacional y étnica (México) – In this activity, students learn about Mexican gastronomy, and how food represents the identity of a community.
- Color Rosa Mexicano: La identidad pública y privada – Identidad nacional y étnica (México) – In this project, students learn about the traditional colors of Mexico, what a logo is, and how the colors represent its culture.
- Curious Facts About Cinco de Mayo [PRINTABLE POSTERS] – These posters feature 5 facts about Cinco de Mayo in Spanish and English.
- Survival Spanish Guide to Mexican Street Food [ARTICLE] – Food is one crucial element in the Cinco de Mayo celebration. This article lists 5 misconceptions about traditional Mexican dishes.